From the Principal
Recess is often the favorite time of day for many elementary students. When we think about it, recess may be one of the only times during the week that children are able to play with peers in an unstructured setting, with adult supervision. In Lexington, the School Committee is committed to promoting physical exercise for our students, and recognizes that scheduling two recesses daily is important. There is a 15 minute recess in either the morning or afternoon and a 20 minute recess connected to lunch. On Thursday mornings, the 15 minute recess occurs with classroom teacher supervision.
The adults who oversee recess and lunch are called School Support Personnel (SSP). At Hastings, we call our SSPs “Recess and Lunch Teachers”. We believe that children need to respect this group of adults and understand that the rules they implement are designed to keep a large group of children safe during the recess blocks. Our SSPs are linked with grade levels and every effort is made to maintain a consistent group of adults at both recesses. By creating grade level teams, we hope to support relationships between the adults who supervise and the children playing during each recess block. SSPs, like all members of the Hastings teaching staff, receive feedback throughout the year and written annual evaluations.
Assistant Principal Anne Knight meets regularly with this group, providing professional learning, a forum for problem-solving and support for SSPs. The SSPs discuss ways to keep recess safe for all students while offering children time to actively play on our structures, use balls and run! They may suggest games for children interested in playing something new. They will “referee” games if children have difficulty playing. They will intervene to assist with disagreements, and communicate with teachers to follow up with children when social issues arise.
With colder weather, we continue to go outside unless the temperature is below 18 degrees (including wind chill). It is very important that children have warm clothing to wear during outside recess in the winter months. Should the field become too icy or muddy, we hold recess on the structures or hardtop. We have a variety of equipment for children to use, and we ask that they collect it so that it is available to them each recess.
Louise P. Lipsitz